The Visit – Trailer

“Bedtime is at 9:30.  It’s probably best that you don’t come out of your room after that.”  

Oh yeah, nothing at all eerie about that.  No reason to suspect that something’s not quite right with Grandpa and Grandma.

When I heard that quote, taken verbatim from the trailer from M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming horror movie, The Visit, I got an odd feeling of deja vu, as if I have seen this movie before, and it wasn’t even that good then.

The Visit comes courtesy of Blumhouse Pictures, which means that it’s not only going to play–if the trailer is any indicator–like  a very well-shot home movie, but to make matters worse, it’s combined with Shyamalan’s typical over-estimation of his own writing prowess.

Which isn’t to say that he hasn’t had good movies.  The Sixth Sense was remarkable, and Unbreakable was pretty entertaining as well, though his others, not so much (mainly because Shyamalan can’t seem to make one without a ‘twist’ at the end, which more often than not was either pretty lame (Signs) or a ripoff of the The Twilight Zone (The Village), minus Rod Serling’s prose skills.

As a result, I get the feeling that The Visit will not overstay its welcome at the box office.

Tomorrowland – Trailer 3

Looking at the latest trailer for Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland, Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) and Frank Walker (George Clooney) are either running from robots, or I’m watching the trailer for  what’s quite possibly the most violent Disney movie ever made.

In fact, there’s a scene that’s eerily reminiscent of another movie that probably won’t be confused with anything from The House of Mouse

Which is why I’m reasonably comfortable in saying that those are robots chasing them, not humans (you can get away with destroying robots in movies because their representation in Hollywood hasn’t yet evolved to the levels of other traditionally maligned groups).

I am also trying not to feel a bit dismayed that Damon Lindelhof is involved with the movie, since he had way too much to do with how mediocre Prometheus ended up being.

The Babadook – Review

The Babadook

“The terror of The Babadook starts innocently, with a children’s book, though it will grow to possess you.”

Every since I saw 2009’s Triangle, I knew that Australia was and up-and-comer as far as interesting and innovative horror goes, though Jennifer Kent‘s The Babadook certifies their arrival.

It’s a pretty impressive movie, because–unlike many of its brethren, domestic or otherwise–it weaves its spell gradually, taking its time to introduce us to its main characters, so that what they feel, be it joy or terror, you do as well.

We soon meet Amelia (Essie Davis), who’s been having a difficult time since the death of her husband.  Her work at a nursing home leaves her numb while her son, Robbie (Noah Wiseman) is an imaginative, rambunctious boy who’s misbehavior has her at wits’ end.

Amelia is doing her damnedest to keep mind and soul together, with very little in the way of support; in some instances due to her son’s behavior.

One day Robbie finds a book, Mister Babadook, that neither he nor his mother was aware of owning.  He finds the book terrifying, though what’s more interesting is that despite this, Amelia continues to read to him.

The book is creepy in and of itself.

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Wolfcop – Review

Wolf cop movie poster

“Here Comes The Fuzz” and There I Go! Far Away!

“If you can make it through the entirely of Wolfcop, you’re a much better person than I am.”

I tried, I really tried but I just couldn’t do it.

What I failed so pointedly to do was to be able to watch Lowell Dean‘s Wolfcop from beginning to end, and tapped out after about 30-40 minutes.

So many things bothered me, like Leo Fatard, who played a sheriff called Lou Garou (Really?  Loup-garou is French for ‘werewolf,” so learning that was his character’s name meant that was a sign of either a very clever, or very lame, movie.

Unfortunately, the occasionally interesting happening didn’t stop if from being the latter.

Where to start?  The first thing I noticed was that Fatard looks like a younger, less lanky, less of a hipster doofus version of Michael Richards.

And it distracted the Hell out of me the entire time.  And if that weren’t bad enough, it lead to a lot of pointless speculations on my part, such as: The producers of Wolfcop had to have had Richards in mind when they cast the movie–or at least noticed Fatard’s strong resemblance. otherwise why hire an actor that looked so much like him?

And that being the case, did they really want Richards in the first place?  And if so, did he prove too expensive, too hoity-toity?

Who knows.

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Sinister 2 – Trailer

The biggest problem with Scott Derrickson’s Sinister for me was that Bughuul (Bagul?) was sort of dopey, though considering that that mythical dream demon was the engine that powered the movie, that’s a pretty big hurdle to overcome.

If the trailer for Sinister 2 is any indication, it appears that director Ciarán Foy (Citadel) has tackled the issue of the inherent silliness of the character head-on.  His answer is to weave a feeling, an air, of mystery around the character, often by obscuring him in shadow, and making him move by way of quick edits.

From what I can see, it works.  There are moments in this trailer that make him appear genuinely creepy.

So far, so good.

Preservation – Review

Preservation movie poster

“I’ve seen few movies start so promisingly and end up being so disappointing.  Spoilers follow below, so if you haven’t seen it, head on over to Netflix.”

Christopher Denham‘s Preservation is a bit of an odd bird. It’s essentially a survival horror movie, where three campers, Aaron Neary (Mike Staton), his wife Wit (Wrenn Schmidt) and brother Aaron (the awesome Pablo Schreiber) take a camping trip, and are menaced by three masked figures.

There’s a problem though–and I don’t mean the killers–which is that the movie builds up the murderous trio–then curiously works to undermine their effectiveness as a threat.

Initially things begin promisingly, with the killers hunting down the three campers for no reason than that they’re in the wrong place at–for the killers–the right time.  They’re portrayed as lethal and coolly efficient, though never supernaturally so (a very good thing).

The murderous trio manage to easily outmaneuver and keep their prey off-balance till the movie gives an important fact away prematurely; namely that the three opportunistic killers are teenagers (or maybe pre-teens).

The movie does its best early on to keep this fact hidden, but there’s a scene about mid-way,  when they’re riding dirt bikes in pursuit of Wit, that its fairly obvious that these are not adults.  What’s even worse is that Aaron is a combat veteran, yet he’s the first person taken out, dispatched relatively easily in a manner that doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense.

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Ciarán Foy Is Sinister 2

What I mean is that Ciarán Foy will be taking the reigns of the upcoming Sinister 2 from Scott Derrickson, who has his hands full preparing to helm Marvel Studios’ upcoming feature based on their Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange.

The only film I have seen of Foy’s is his 2012 film Citadel (which plays like a variation on David Cronenberg’s The Brood, minus the body horror)–which is also a horror film that unlike many of its contemporaries has a sense of bleakness, of hopelessness about it which is enhanced by a color palate so muted that it feels like a black and white movie.

If he can bring some of feel, the imagry that made Citadel so satisfying to Sinister 2, I think he’ll have a hit on his hands.